Jump to content


Comet C17P/Holmes animation

  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Special Ed

Special Ed

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7148
  • Joined: 18 May 2003
  • Loc: Greenbrier County, WV 38N, 80W

Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

Hi Everyone,

I had the day off because school was closed due to the extreme cold, windy, and snowy weather so I had the chance to work on an animation project I've been thinking about for a couple of years.

Also, I was prompted by seeing the animation of Erika's Luna/Jupiter sequence on LPOD. The program made it very easy to creat an animation. Here's a link:

You may recall back in the fall of 2007 that periodic comet C17P/Holmes went into outburst causing its magnitude and coma to both increase dramatically.

I was able to make 3 field sketches over a 5 day timespan using the same telescope and eyepiece which provided an opportunity to watch the expanding coma fill and then overflow the FOV.

This is the first time I've used gifmaker so it's quick and dirty. The original sketches were scanned at slightly different sizes which the animation makes apparent. Also there is a typo on the third sketch--the FOV is 12' in all three drawings. The orientation isn't the same in the first drawing either.

Feedback is welcome. Let me know if these flaws are a problem. Perhaps I can go back to the originals and resize them for uniformity--maybe do something about that orientation, too.

Holmes was an exciting comet to observe. I hope this brings back some good memories for some of you as it did for me. Here is the animation:

Attached Files

#2 Andrev



  • *****
  • Posts: 4113
  • Joined: 08 Feb 2011
  • Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:51 PM

That give something special and interesting. Fun to watch.


#3 azure1961p


    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10493
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2009
  • Loc: USA

Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

Wow that's superb!!!!!!!


#4 PeterDob


    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 869
  • Joined: 29 Jul 2005
  • Loc: Castelnovo ne' Monti, Italy

Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:54 AM

Don't worry about the so-called flaws in the animation, Michael. The main point is to bring across the evolution of the comet and you caught that beautifully. I'm seriously impressed! :D


#5 Jef De Wit

Jef De Wit


  • *****
  • Posts: 2876
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Hove, Belgium

Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:31 AM

This brings back fine memories! It was my first comet that I observed. And the only comet that I saw with the naked eye.

#6 Chopin


    Canis Insanus

  • *****
  • Posts: 4593
  • Joined: 03 Feb 2005
  • Loc: In the doghouse.

Posted 26 January 2013 - 06:46 AM

Terrific memories indeed, Michael! It stands as the only comet that I have followed and sketched. Looking at your drawings brings me back to the eyepiece.

#7 Laurent Ferrero

Laurent Ferrero


  • -----
  • Posts: 40
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Marseilles, France

Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:54 AM

This very nice animation. This is a good memory this comet. Hopefully the Panstarr we reserve also a good show in March.

#8 Special Ed

Special Ed

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7148
  • Joined: 18 May 2003
  • Loc: Greenbrier County, WV 38N, 80W

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:47 AM

Thank you all for the very kind words. :)

Holmes was indeed a fantastic comet to observe and follow with many variations in its overall appearance as the outer coma expanded. For those who said this was their first comet--you picked a dandy! :cool: Caveat--don't expect them all to be like this... :lol: Thanks for joining me on memory lane.

@Jef--I had the pleasure of pointing out the comet with the unaided eye to some amateur and non-amateur friends one night after a community action meeting we were attending--they loved it. :)

#9 niteskystargazer



  • *****
  • Posts: 3265
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2009
  • Loc: 41-43'-28" N 87-42'-39" W

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:35 PM


Very good sketches of Comet C17P/ Holmes :).




#10 bumm


    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 712
  • Joined: 07 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Iowa

Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:17 PM

Very nice! It shows the sequence very well!
For me, right after it's outburst, Holmes was a sort of cosmic muffin, with an oddly sharp outline, which then grew into a sort of seed pod which slowly started blowing out on one side. I can remember watching the little "christmas tree" evolve inside of it too... :)

#11 Special Ed

Special Ed

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7148
  • Joined: 18 May 2003
  • Loc: Greenbrier County, WV 38N, 80W

Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:23 AM

Tom and bumm, thank you much. :)

bumm--Holmes did have an oddball shape. Some people said it looked like one of those fossils called a trilobite.

#12 Special Ed

Special Ed

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7148
  • Joined: 18 May 2003
  • Loc: Greenbrier County, WV 38N, 80W

Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

I fooled around a little more with my animation today. I went back to the scanned drawings and corrected the orientation of the first sketch to match the other two.

I also tried to resize the drawings so they are all closer to the same size. It is probably a good idea to pay attention when scanning and resizing original sequence drawings so that they are similar in dimension. It will be easier to match them up if you ever want to put together an animation.

If anyone has some sequential drawings, I hope you try an animation and post it in the forum. I know Erika has posted some prom sequences in the past that she animated.

The animation process is also particularly good for white light and Ha versions of solar sketches--you can see and compare the view of different layers of the Sun.

Posting digitized sketches on the Internet gives us a unique opportunity to employ the animation process.

Here is version 2. It's still kind of jumpy but I think it is an improvement. Comments and criticism welcome.

Attached Files

#13 frank5817



  • *****
  • Posts: 8648
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Illinois

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:24 PM


The redo works much better. You can easily see that if you plan out a series of sketches in advance you can create some great animations if the weather cooperates. Jupiter and Mars rotations would be examples as would crater shadow changes on the Moon.
Great to see this comet again.

Frank :)

#14 Special Ed

Special Ed

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7148
  • Joined: 18 May 2003
  • Loc: Greenbrier County, WV 38N, 80W

Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:10 AM


Thanks. I agree with you about planning the sessions and you mention some great subjects for animation. Maybe we'll see one from you soon?

I wish my computer skills weren't so limited but maybe this old dog can find the time to learn some new tricks. ;)

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics